Many people can resonate with the uneasy feeling of being without a smartphone even for a very short duration of time, and researchers now believe that they understand why this happens.
For many people, posting on social media is a part of how they experience life through phones, acting like an extension of their being.
A research by Sungkyunkwan University discovered this condition known as ‘Nomophobia’. It is a feeling of discomfort or anxiety caused by the unavailability of a mobile device which allows virtual communication.
Earlier studies have established that Nomophobia causes increase in heart rate and blood pressure along with anxiety and unpleasant feelings. Scientist from the University of Hong Kong found that when users consider smartphones as an extension of themselves, they are more likely to get attached to their devices, which in turn can lead to intensifying the phone proximity-seeking tendency.
Dependence on smartphones is likely to increase due to the advancement in technology which continues to make them more appealing and indispensable by adding numerous convenient features.
Symptoms of Nomophobia include being unable to switch off your phone, obsessively checking your phone, taking your phone to the bathroom, constantly charging the battery of your phone. Scientists have found that those with high Nomophobia are likely to suffer from wrist and neck pain. One is also more probable to get distracted from their studies and work.
Researchers have warned that this trend is likely to continue as phones are becoming increasingly personalized.
Nomophobia, thus, is probable to become more widespread, synchronously with the increase in time spent using smartphones. “Nomophobia, FoMo and FoBo can be treated similarly to other more traditional phobias. Exposure therapy, in this case, switching off technology periodically, can teach individuals to reduce anxiety.” said Brenda Wiederhold from Interactive Media Institute.